THE City of Sydney last week said that it will conduct in depth research into a new light rail line to the City's fastest growing residential area after the NSW Government expressed strong support for the project.
Councillors have approved $445,000 for a series of reports needed to develop the plan for a dedicated light rail line from the city to Green Square, around five kilometres south of the Town Hall.
According to the council, bus services to Green Square are already overloaded, with passengers often forced to miss several busy buses in the morning peak before they can board.
The City's studies on the project show a Green Square light rail service would be strongly patronised, with a demand of more than 3000 users in peak hour.
The proposed additional studies include:
- A cost benefit analysis;
- Refining current cost estimates of $350-500 million;
- Exploring different ways of financing the project;
- Linking light rail with broader transport planning being conducted by Transport for NSW; and
- Consulting with the community.
With 50 new apartments opening each week in Green Square, Lord Mayor Clover Moore described the research as vital in order to ensure that work on the project could get under way.
"We've been advocating for light rail to Green Square for years and have already spent more than $30 million buying land for a light rail corridor," the Lord Mayor said.
"In the next four years, another 10,000 apartments will be built in Green Square, adding almost 20,000 more residents. With so many people moving in, we need to work with the state government to get transport infrastructure in place as quickly as possible.
"While transport is a NSW Government responsibility, we're helping plan the project to make sure it's done well and as quickly as possible."
"We're delighted the Transport Minister has recognised that light rail linking Green Square with the city is the best way to give the area's fast growing population of residents and workers access to and from their homes and workplaces."